An Arm and a Leg is a show about why health care costs so freaking much, and what we can (maybe) do about it.
I’m Dan Weissmann. I’m a reporter, and I like a challenge. So the job I’ve chosen is: take one of the most enraging, terrifying, depressing parts of American life, and bring you a show that’s entertaining, empowering, and useful.
At An Arm and a Leg, we do that with journalistic rigor, an ear for a great story, and a strong sense of community.
You are not alone. We may be screwed, but we’re together. And if we want to get even a little bit less-screwed, we need to learn what we’re up against, and we need each other.
I’ve met folks through my reporting who can show us tools most of us don’t know about, and others who have been fighting for new rights , and sometimes winning.
I’m not gonna lie: We don’t have enough rights, or enough tools. We won’t win them all.
But it turns out: We don’t have to lose them all either.
I can promise you solid information, good company, and memorable stories. I hope you’ll join us, and listen in.
Or you can read us too: In late 2021, we launched a newsletter, First Aid Kit, to pull together practical lessons about how to survive the hellscape of the U.S. health care system.
How this show comes together:
An Arm and a Leg started as scribblings in my notebook in 2018, but I don’t make this show by myself, not by a long shot. A crack team of journalists and producers makes this show great.
And since 2019, we’ve had one of the nation’s best newsrooms as a production partner: KFF Health News provides editorial consultation, distributes and promotes the show on their website and newsletters, and gives us modest financial support. You can read more about them and our partnership here.
Most of all, community support powers our work. Tips from listeners are behind many of our episodes, we’d love to hear from you, and many hundreds of listeners support us with donations. That’s our single biggest source of income, and we’d love for you to support us too.
We do not accept advertising or underwriting from entities in the business of health care (or health insurance, or anything like them). Seriously, we turn down offers like these all the time. Accepting this kind of support would create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
(creator & host)
Creator & Host
Prior to creating An Arm and a Leg, Dan was a staff reporter for Marketplace and Chicago’s WBEZ. His reporting has appeared on outlets like 99 Percent Invisible, Planet Money, Reveal, Code Switch, and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Before working in audio, he spent many years as a print reporter, frequently musing, “Audio seems like where the real fun is. How do I break into that?” His work reflects sophisticated reporting, an engaging narrative voice, and a knack for snappy, accurate breakdowns of complex subjects,from urban segregation to the economics of America’s largest crop to the engineering miracles that turned the Chicago River into a sewer. Dan lives in the beautiful village of Skokie, Illinois, with his beautiful family.
Ellen Weiss is an award-winning journalist and leader with more than 40 years experience working in audio, video and digital newsrooms. Most recently, as Washington Bureau Chief and Vice President of The E. W. Scripps Company, she created a multimedia national investigative team and launched podcasting for the company. While there, she received her forth Peabody Award for the “Under the Radar” investigative series and the RFK’s Journalism Grand Prize for the investigative documentary “A Broken Trust,” a project highlighting the lack of justice for survivors of sexual assault on tribal lands.
Prior to that she spent nearly 30 years at NPR and served as Senior Vice President of News. In that role, she oversaw global expansion of NPR News, the creation of award-winning programs an investigative unit, podcasts and the digital integration of the newsroom
Weiss is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in international relations. She and her family live in Washington, D.C.
Consulting Managing Producer
Daisy Rosario is Slate’s senior supervising producer for audio. She was previously an executive producer at Stitcher focused on original podcasts. Prior to Stitcher, she was managing producer for podcasts at WAMU 88.5 in Washington, DC. She came to WAMU from the startup 60dB.
Before 60dB, Daisy was a producer on the first season of the podcast Sooo Many White Guys, hosted by Phoebe Robinson for WNYC Studios. She is also a former senior producer for the weekly NPR-distributed show and podcast, Latino USA.
In her spare time, Daisy is co-host and co-creator of the podcast Serially Obsessed, where she and a former prosecutor and a media critic break down each episode of the podcast Serial.
Before audio journalism, Daisy had a lot of strange, but useful jobs. Among other things, she was a comedian and live event producer who began piloting podcast ideas in 2005. She still performs monthly in CPT: Comedy People’s Time, an improv and stand-up show in New York City.
Managing Editor, Audience
Gabrielle is an editor who works with text and audio. She’s at NPR’s Here and Now, after working as digital editor for New Hampshire Public Radio and the NPR show 1A. She’s based in Brooklyn, New York.
Emily is a journalist, writer, and audio producer based in New York City. In 2020, she graduated from Columbia Journalism School where she focused on health care reporting and radio and podcast production. Before turning to journalism, Emily wrote and edited web and social media content for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In addition to her work at An Arm and a Leg, she writes an independent newsletter about insulin.
Consulting Director of Operations
Bea most recently worked as Director of Special Projects and Initiatives at Chicago Public Media/WBEZ, as Consulting Producer for the podcast This Is My Family, and as a producer on Amber Hawk Swanson’s The Harmony Show. She also produces work with the Popup Producers and consults for the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
She was previously the Program Director and Theatre Faculty at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Chicago Arts Program, Associate Director of Education at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and directed a number of plays at Chicago’s off-loop theatres.
Sarah Ballema most recently served as Senior Manager of Event Production & Community Engagement at Chicago Public Media/WBEZ. Over the years she also spent time in WBEZ’s development department and as the operations manager for the newsroom.
Sarah is a theatre director who specializes in new play development. Her work has been staged at Chicago’s scrappy storefont theater Cornservatory, in new play festivals around the city and at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
Adam is an audio engineer, composer, sound designer, based in upstate New York. He’s worked with outlets like The Ringer, Audible, Uncover Studios, VICE, and Breadcrumbs.
Adam is the CEO of Rogue Dialogue Productions which is currently producing its first podcast Windfall which is like a big budget Sci-Fi HBO show, but for your ears. He also produces music under the name Garbage Person. RIYL: The Dear Hunter / Sigur Ros / Kimbra / Sufjan Stevens. Find out more at www.adamraymonda.com
Composer and Multi-instrumentalist David Winer has been writing and playing music for most of his life. His agility with countless musical styles has won him 2 AICP awards, 3 Clios, 1 Addy. He has been shortlisted at Cannes and nominated for 4 Grammys as a musician and producer. David is Creative Director at Fancy Mountain Music and Sound, and leads the Chicago band Ponds & Fleshman, whose music is dope as hell.
David lives with his wife and two children in Evanston, Illinois. His marinated jerk chicken is delicious!
Designer, Visual Identity
Sean is an illustrator and writer living in Chicago. His colorful, vibrant illustrations have appeared in publications from Pearson, Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, Capstone Press, and many others. He is the creator of the Rocket Robinson series of graphic novels for young readers, published by Dark Horse Comics. Sean is also known for his series of live-drawing “whiteboard” videos on language and other topics, produced by mentalfloss.com.
Marian is a journalist based in New York City. Nothing gets her going like stories of people being caught in the gears of complex, unwieldy systems , and she’s made a career out of telling those stories in a variety of formats. She’s currently a producer at HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, where she has helped shape the show’s signature long-form segments since 2015. She was previously an investigative reporter at ProPublica.
Editor, Season 3 and SEASON-19
Ann Heppermann has been working in audio for nearly 20 years. She’s reported, produced and edited for everywhere under the sun, including: This American Life, Radiolab, 99% Invisible, and many others. She has received numerous awards, including a Peabody, and in 2011 was named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow. She has also edited a number of narrative podcasts like Heaven’s Gate, the feminist women’s history podcast No Man’s Land and an upcoming series with Complex Magazine. Bitch Magazine called her a “sort of Goddess of podcasting,” which makes her extremely proud.
Editor, Seasons 1 and 2
Whitney is a versatile audio producer/editor/sound designer, production manager, and aspiring placemaker.
A collaborator at heart, she has worked with audio organizations such as PRX, StoryCorps, The Third Coast International Audio Festival, Heritage Radio Network, and CHIRP radio.
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence as adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:
An Arm and a Leg retains full authority over editorial content to best protect both our journalistic and business interests. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and revenue from donors, sponsors, and advertisers. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.
An Arm and a Leg may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We do not give supporters the right to assign, review or edit content.
An Arm and a Leg will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.
Beyond INN’s guidelines:
In order to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest, we avoid soliciting or accepting financial support from entities that represent vested interests in the subject we cover: The business of health care.
For instance, we do not accept support from hospitals, insurance companies, physician practice groups, pharmaceutical companies, etcetera. Nor do we accept support from organizations that represent or lobby for such interests.
We do not accept advertisements or sponsorships from such entities. We have directed our ad-sales agents to refuse advertising from any of the many categories marked in red on this list. (If you see a category you think should be marked in red but isn’t, please let us know.)
KFF Partnership and Ethics Policy:
We have maintained an editorial partnership with KFF Health News since 2019 and credit them as co-producers in every episode of our podcast. Like An Arm and a Leg, KFF Health News is an editorially independent, non-partisan outlet committed to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and excellence.
Our partnership with KFF Health News includes financial support, editorial consultation and collaboration, but our partnership agreement specifies that all final editorial decisions lie with us.
We are proud to follow the rigorous Ethics Guidelines published by KFF Health News. As KHN says in its introduction: “Credibility, a news organization’s most precious asset, is arduously acquired and easily squandered.”